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Where to buy in Chicago area? North Suburbs?

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lmuboy10499

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
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6
I am looking for a very reputable jewelry store/diamond dealer either in Chicago or within an hour or so of the area. I am looking to make a proposal within the next 6 months and would like to find a dealer to work with in person. Please help!
 

whatever987

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
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7
lmuboy10499,

I spent a lot of time searching Chicago and the North/Northwest suburbs for someone I could work with, and I ended up really disappointed and discouraged. I ended up working with Jan at Diamond Brokers of Florida because I couldn't find anyone locally who would provide the service and support I expected when making such a large and significant purchase.

Six months gives you plenty of time to work things out, and I think you would find that Jan, or many of the other online retailers, will work with you and end up being a much better deal than you would find locally. Another big advantage is the absence of sales tax and a lower overall total cost.

Most of my experience is posted at

http://www.diamondtalk.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=22879&referrerid=39360

...or feel free to email me if you want to compare experiences. I'm happy to say that I really believe I made the right decision.
 

diamond1

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
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7
Check out jewelers row in Chicago just to have an idea of what kind of ring you would like to purchase. You need to ask yourself: What qualities in a diamond are you looking for? The amount of money are you willing to spend?:wink2:
 

lmuboy10499

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
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6
I don't really want to buy online...I usually do all my purchasing online, but this is something different. I would prefer to buy this is in person.

First, my girlfriend would like to actually pick it out and would like to see it in person. But, I still would like to surprise her with a proposal with a purchase of probably the main diamond and set in a standard ring, then ask her and then take her to get it set properly the way she wants it.

I think I know what she wants. I believe she is looking at an emerald cut, anywhere from 1.0 to 1.5 carats. Then, the side diamonds would also be emerald cut, but smaller, not sure what size though. I am looking for a good graded diamond, probably in the E area of color, not sure about the clarity though. What kind of price range would something like this cost?
 

diamond1

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2002
Messages
7
Go to http://www.pricescope.com and go to the search by quality. This may give you a general idea of what it may cost. GOOD LUCK:twirl:
 

pietrzak

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
3
In downtown Chicago, I can recommend for loose stones:
1. United Jewlers, 29 E Madison, 13th floor. Ask for Dick Goynshor.
2. PGS, Professional Gem Sciences (www.progem.com) is an excellent certification lab. They have a second opinion service for $75 where they effictively re-cert a stone. The owner used to run EGL in LA and has a reputation for strict grading. If you get an EGL stone, I recommend you get this done. You might pass if your stone is GIA.
3. For insurance appraisal and in leiu of certification, you might try Continental Jewlery Replacement in Park Ridge. They are retained by several insurance companies (e.g., Amica) and are good, independent appraisers. The only CGA in Chicago that I know.

--Carl
 

pietrzak

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
3
Oh, and for settings, I agree that you need to tour the diamond district (Madison and Wabash is the epicenter). There are just too many styles to choose from. Do be sure to go up above street-level and visit some of the private shops.

Of those, I know that Monique Fine Jewlery in the Maller's Building (5 South Wabash) has a small, but high quality selection of settings. Go there if you want a particularly solid ring and/or larger side stones. We got our wedding bands there -- class-ring-style thickness. A friend got a platinum engagement setting there which has 6 VS-F baguettes totaling .85ct. You see what I mean...

If you want an antique-style ring and/or need any custom work done, Carl Schmelzle (29 E Madison) is quite skilled. E.g. another friend had him resize an heirloom wedding ring, replaced its diamond chips with sapphires, and added a U-spring to prevent knuckle twist.

Have fun and good luck!
 

pietrzak

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
3
In downtown Chicago, I can recommend for loose stones:
1. United Jewlers, 29 E Madison, 13th floor. Ask for Dick Goynshor.
2. PGS, Professional Gem Sciences (www.progem.com) is an excellent certification lab. They have a second opinion service for $75 where they effictively re-cert a stone. The owner used to run EGL in LA and has a reputation for strict grading. If you get an EGL stone, I recommend you get this done. You might pass if your stone is GIA.
3. For insurance appraisal and in leiu of certification, you might try Continental Jewlery Replacement in Park Ridge. They are retained by several insurance companies (e.g., Amica) and are good, independent appraisers. The only CGA in Chicago that I know.

--Carl
 

lmuboy10499

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Messages
6
Those all sound great....thanks! Does anyone know of any trusted sources in the Northern suburb area? Like Libertyville, within 30 mins or so of that area? Just really want to make sure I ado not get screwed.
 

makisupa

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 4, 2002
Messages
13
Imuboy,

I just purchased a stone on Saturday after 3 months of looking. I've visited about half of the shops in Jeweler's row. I knew exactly what I was looking for which made price comparison easier. I ended up buying at New York Jewelers on Wabash. They claim to have the largest selection of loose stones in the city which I cannot verify but as I was looking at a very specific stone, they had several available. After a week of dealing with them I walked out with a descent price. I can't promise that they will offur you a great price, but they were willing to work with me (haggling) more than the rest of the other dealers. They by far had the best prices on settings as well which added to my descision to shop from there.

I heard of another place up in Racine, Wi (I can't think of the name) but they are supposed to have a pretty descent selection of nice stones. That may work out better for you as if you buy from them and ship it back to IL, you can avoid paying sales tax.

One last thing, going through Jeweler's row can be very cumbersome. The Mauler bldg. alone has 13+ floors packed with Jewelers. I remember taking the elevator to the top and walking around each floor stopping at only those shops that looked to have a descent selection. Rumor has it that may of the North side jewelers have very high prices (I can neither confirm or deny that rumor) so you may need to take a drive in order to find your stone.
 

lmuboy10499

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Messages
6
Thanks for the extemely detailed info. I much appreciate it. I am originally from Los Angeles, so I know what a dealers district is like. It can be very cumbersome.

As for the sales tax from Racine, WI, how could I avoid it by driving down there and then having it shipped? It doesn't seem realistic. Sales tax different there? I assume that would save a nice chunk of change since I am looking for a stone that will be up there in price. Do you know the name of the dealer in WI?

Finally, I always hear those commercials about New York Jewelers on the radio and it sounds great, but for some reason I prefer the smaller dealers who are looking to make you happy and care about you returning for more purchases.
 

clapton

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
19
The place to go in Racine is Rasmussen's. I bought all of my fiancee's jewlery there and it is worth the drive. They are about 5 miles from I-94 , exit HWY. 20 and easy to find. My last purchase was a 1.17 G VS1 Eightstar with a platinum Sakamoto setting.
 
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